Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Unemployment Heads for Three Million

Unemployment has risen by 281,000 in the last three months to 2.38 million. At this rate the dole queue could reach 3 million by the end of the year - or if not in the first quarter of next year, just as the election campaign is getting underway. Let's just say that again...


And just a reminder that unemployment has been higher at the end of every Labour government in history, than it was when they were elected. Every single one, going back to 1924.

If these figures had been released under Margaret Thatcher they would be leading all the news bulletins. This morning, at 11.36pm, they don't even rate a mention on the BBC politics website.

UPDATE 11.50: The story is now on the BBC news front page with the subheadline: Is the worst over? I doubt it very much.


Penfold said...

The rise will be higher as all the disabled claims unwind and these people go onto the real unemployed register.
For a decade NuLab have been fudging the figures, and this fudge will be exposed for the manipulation that it was.
Unfortunately it will leave a legacy that the Tories will be hardpressed to deal with.

Little Black Sambo said...

And that is not counting the number of concealed unemployed - people om benefit who needn't be, and people doing jobs that don't need doing. How many would that come to altogether?

Giles Smedley said...

BBC double standards on their reporting beggars belief. I remember the early 80s when virtually every news broadcast was headed up by stories about the unemployment figures or the plight of the unemployed.

Anonymous said...

ER, but it is the Number One story on the Front Page of the BBC News website..

So, er, clearly a conspiracy at work to bury the bad news, eh.. ?

Lola said...

Plus the other 3 million turning up to all the non-jobs that labour has invented, plus those hidden on IB, plus those in some form of 'scheme', Plus all the bankers, plus the quangos, plus everyone in dog racing. Which leaves 2 of us. And quite frankly Iain I don't think you're pulling your weight.

Dave said...

difficult to know what to lead on at PMQs. Labour lies on the economy, Mandy recent conversion to reducing public spending, unemployment, PM's responsibility for deaths in Afgan etc

Tomfiglio said...

Shouldn't Boris be displaying this figure on the roof of City Hall?

Anonymous said...

I rather like the French idea. Bossnap! Of course they don't take it far enough... it isn't the bosses of reputable manufacturing companies who can solve the problems of the endless redtape imposed upon them by the EU and their own governments, the restriction of their working hours, the theft of their pensions.

Could we have a Gordnap? Ransom: just resign!

Elby the Beserk said...

Bollocks. That nice Gordon Brown keeps on saying in PMQs that jobcentres are finding 200,000 new jobs for people a month.

Mind you, he's also building 3,000,000 new houses as well - he said so in PMQs - so?

I'm one of the one in three "economically inactive" over fifties. Went on the dole for a while, but when they tried me to take a job as a kennel hand (BA. Oxon, + 25 years in high-powered IT), I thought - fuck this - and decided to live on next to nothing.

So far so good. And I haven't paid a penny tax for two years now.

Serve the ***ts right.

SHB said...

The only positive thing about this, and its of little consolation to the legitimatley unemployed, is that New Labour's total incompetence should ensure they end up in the political wilderness for years.

I don't think the electorate will forget the failings of this current Government for a very long time. At least when Major went down the country was still being run properly.

Anonymous said...

I dislike the way you try and be partisan about unemployment. Sure, the Labour Gov. hasn't help - but a Conservative Gov would be worse. They only care about the rich.

Labour was unlucky that the economic crisis hit. Also - this crisis has hit countries with both left and right wing Govenments in power.

BJ said...

Was a decent post until you had a needless knee-jerk fit of BBC bashing Iain. At least you put up a correction, though it only serves to highlight how knee-jerk you were being.

I bet BBC journos had a lot more than fourteen minutes to write a story under Mrs Thatcher!

Iain Dale said...

BJ, as you well know, the figures are given to journalists under an embargo, so they had more than 15 minutes to write the story!!

Anonymous said...

Check out the subtitle under the video on the BBC's story:

"Jim Knight, unemployment minister on the ONS data".

If that is his job, it looks like he's doing fantastically.

Guess this'll change as soon as someone realises what fun some sub ed is having.

Anonymous said...

I love the headline on TrueBlueBlood.

'Soldier's blood on his hands, the tears of the unemployed on his shoulders'.

That sums up Brown for me.

labour for the few said...

plus the 1m added to the public pay roll,and on other benefits.

i guess the real labour figure is heading to 4.5m unemployed.

the reason the bbc keep quiet about this is they are part of the great labour gravy train.

BJ said...

I don't think the unemployment figures are published under an embargo. They might be given to PA first, but that's it.

Every newsroom I've worked in has received the figures by email (or fax, in the olden days) and been free to publish them straight away.

Maria said...

I think the BBC would have used a different headline than "Is The Worst Over?" in the 1980s! And this poll... the findings seem a little odd... what were the exact questions?

Andrew K said...

Anonymous at 12.26pm seems to have forgotten how to spell his name. I shall help. It's d-i-r-t-y e-u-r-o

Lola said...

Anon 12.26. head in arse time. New Labour policies, along with those similar policies of other so called 'right wing governments' are what casued this crisis. Everything can be traced back to unsound money and extravagant and profligate fiscal policies combined with bureaucratic interference in normal market checks and balances and the incompetence of central bankers and thier political masters.

New Labour and regulation are never the answer any problem. They ARE the problem.

stuart said...

This story has been on the BBC news front page all morning. Tory anti-BBC paranoia does get tiresome, you know.

Uncle Bob said...

Anonymous at 12.26, isn't it a little early to be hitting the bottle. Come back when you are sober. I'm not rich and I and my family faired better under the Tories than we have the past 12 years. And me living in a Welsh former mining village too!

bil said...

I've been unemployed for 3 months. I'm not any official statistics. I have savings.

Apart from the tragedy that is Afghanistan, why is this not the most newsworthy article on the BBC?

Instead I notice they're once again promoting the Government's Green propoganda.

Donut Hinge Party said...

Hang on, you can't blame New Labour for the Employment and Support Allowance massaging - as anyone with half a brain knows, its predecessor Invalidity Benefit was usead as a mechanism in the 1980's as a way of disguising employment from the closure of the mines and steelworks. Now, you can argue about the unions, sick man of Europe, and that resources had run out, but the simple fact is that rather than offering any support to those made redundant, it was considered less trouble to simply write them off and wait for the next generation to gain skills through education. Bizarrely, however, being a child in a household whereby the father is depressed, unemployable and often a violent drunk turns out not to be generally conducive to a glistening education and career in wealth creation.

Javelin said...

According to Today on Monday morning 2/3rds of people are now failing toget disabilty when they apply for it. Ministers believe(according to Disability Now) that 2/3rds of. Disabled people could do dome work. 2.6 million people are on disability allowance. That means 1.7 million extra people should be receiving unemployment.

If you also believe that10% of government needs cutting and that 6 million people are employedby the Government (according to their figures).

So that, according to the Governments own figures unemployment will be 2 million higher - I.e. FIVE million.

Peter said...

"Unemployment Heads for Three Million"

It's currently 2.38 million, as you say in the small-print, but why say three million both in the headline and in bold in the text?

There's no need to exaggerate. 2.38 million is horrendously high and a rise of 281,000 in three months is a hell of a lot of families who've lost a wage.

Maria said...

Surely Labour first started the ball rolling in massaging unemployment figures with their "Youth Opportunities" schemes in the late 1970s?

Maria said...

Donutsays: "Bizarrely, however, being a child in a household whereby the father is depressed, unemployable and often a violent drunk turns out not to be generally conducive to a glistening education and career in wealth creation."

Bizarre indeed - you say this is what happened to all/most unemployed miners and steelworkers in the 1980s?

I doubt it.

Some of the anti-Thatcher arguments on here beggar belief! What a bunch of double standard prigs abound in our wonderfully caring, fully computerised 21st Century!

Bardirect said...

That'll be three million to be added to the hidden millons more claiming incapacity benefit since 1997 expected to vote for Labour.

Not a sheep said...

The BBC's handling of this story complete with context by Hugh Pym contrasts starkly with their coverage of economic bad news under a Conservative government. Any web archive from pre 1997 to illustrate this?

Anonymous said...

A price worth paying.That comment from the torys in the 80s about unemployment will always put us on the back foot...

Uncle Bob said...

Maria 1:35 pm

Exactly Maria. My Grandfather and Uncle were both miners (In fact my Uncle was right up until Tower Colliery closed recently) and I know lots of other former mining families. The biggest problem they have faced is the decline of manufacturing in the last decade. Labour was founded to help the working man (and woman) so what they've been party to goes against the very reason for their existence. At the moment, if you want a job in the South Wales valleys you have to go to Cardiff to work, but unfortunately, lovely city though it is, even Cardiff doesn't have the required amount of jobs to sustain us. Hopefully, future governments in the UK will realise the best way to prosperity if we become a nation efficient at making things, encouraging companies to come here. We should be a key conduit between Europe and America but we are failing in that regards. One wonders how this could be the same nation which was responsible for the major advances of the industrial revolution but then I realise that socialism and it's ilk hadn't been invented then.

Mark M said...

Anon @12:26
"Labour was unlucky that the economic crisis hit"

I assume you also feel the Conservatives were unlucky in the 80s and 90s too, right?

This crisis is what happens when inflation is your sole measure of how well the economy is doing and you ignore debt. The reason this is a worldwide crisis is becuase enough big countries signed up to the 'cheap debt bubble' method of running things and when that went belly up it brought the rest down. Had Britain not engaged in the sub-prime housing boom is suspect the recession would have been far less severe.

Of course, we could assume you are right and Labour are unlucky. In that case the question may legitimately be asked, what on earth were they doing running a deficit for nearly a decade when a recession could hit at any time?

Either way, Labour are not blameless. Perhaps you need a need a glass stomach to help you see, given the current location of your cranium.

Donut Hinge Party said...

"Exactly Maria. My Grandfather and Uncle were both miners (In fact my Uncle was right up until Tower Colliery closed recently)."

So - your mine was still open. That's like saying you don't know what all those Woolworths people were complaining about; it can't be that bad as you still have YOUR job.

I'm going to work on the assumption that you're not a stupid man, and that you realise that lack of employment and employment opportunities make it MORE LIKELY (although admittedly not definitive) that the environment for a child will be less conducive to the furtherment of their own education and career.

Otherwise this is reminding me of what I find distasteful about Conservatism and religion - the idea that there's something noble about surviving or flourishing, and that people who fail deserve everything they get.

Well done, you survived. Others - many of who worked just as hard as you - weren't so lucky.

Jim Baxter said...

It is unlikely that we will get the change we need at the next GE. What we need, what the people are crying out for, is a government that will manage the defence of the realm and the public purse and disappear - tend towards zero otherwise.

Cameron is not up to it. I am, by nature, a Conservative but Cameron is not up to it. Iain Dale is a good man, never met him but I know he is a good man, compassionate, life-loving. I would call him a friend if I did get to meet him. But, politically, he is a groupie accepting of the status quo. Note his attitude to Blears - a self-professed nothing - rocking the boat, indeed.

We must be rid of them all.

Keith Elliott said...

I wish you'd stop picking on the BBC. They are one of the the few institutions in Britain that bring any credit to the country.

I suspect the methodology has changed, but wasn't it the unemployment claimant count that topped 3 million under Lady Thatcher? That statistic currently stands at about 1.5 million.

The ILO data which you are quoting at 2.3 million today, was well above 4 million in the 80's.

I'm not defending Brown. His government has bankrupted the nation...but unemployment is not (yet) where it was in the 1980's.

Binqu said...

...that lack of employment and employment opportunities make it MORE LIKELY (although admittedly not definitive) that the environment for a child will be less conducive to the furtherment of their own education and career.

Unemployment rose by 115% under the last Labour govt(1974-79). Labour ALWAYS results in greatly increased unemployment for ordinary working people, despite its mass creation of non-jobs in the public sector bureaucracy. The Guardian-reading classes always look after their own kind. Distasteful people. Very.

Binqu said...

The ILO data which you are quoting at 2.3 million today, was well above 4 million in the 80's.

Hogwash. The ILO archives are here:

Take a look.

(the ILO site is not happy reading for Thatcherphobes. Of particular interest is how relatively well the UK was doing by the end of the 80s - most other EU countries had unemployment levels higher than us).

Keith Elliott said...


You are quite right. ILO shows UK unemployment at only 3.4 million in 1986, not the 4 million as i suggested.

I don't think this particularly undermines my argument though...although accept I over egged the pudding!

Anonymous said...

keith elliot said.
I wish you'd stop picking on the BBC. They are one of the the few institutions in Britain that bring any credit to the country.

well perhaps if they stopped acting like pravda he would.

Anonymous said...

Well, going from the only figures that go back to 1974 on the ILO site. ..

The biggest change seems to be in women becoming active job seekers rather than housewives.

1974: 599
1975: 940
1976: 1,301
1977: 1,402
1978: 1,382
1979: 1,295
1980: 1,664
1981: 2,520
1982: 2,916
1983: 3,104
1984: 3,159
1985: 3,271
1986: 3,292
1987: 2,953

The Grim Reaper said...

Politically speaking, the biggest mistake Brown ever made was not calling a snap general election back in 2007. If he had gone ahead with it, he would have won quite decisively - and I suspect the criticism of the government wouldn't be anywhere near as noisy as it is now. Still, I'm delighted that the printer-smashing Prime Mentalist is having a miserable time.

If the Tories do get in at the next election, you're going to have one hell of a job ahead of you. And I'm not entirely convinced that Call Me Dave is up to it.

Anonymous said...

Hang on. If we'd never had the 18 years between 1979-97, conditioning the public for the politics of the free market and devil take the hindmost, Labour would never have moved to the right to court Mail readers and would never have allowed this.

2.4 million unemployed today isn't a failure of social democracy, it's a failure of the laissez faire that both main parties have taken on since the seventies. And it's not on every BBC broadcast because it's sadly no longer shocking like it was back then.

PS Iain, any dockers slung out of work in the late 80s in that 2.4 million, before you shed tears?

bladerunner86 said...

Iain we all know that you didn't take dockers jobs seriously and did not shed a single tear when they became unemployed after liberalization. Furthermore don't start blaming the unions because it was a direct result of liberalization under Thatcher and her free-market orthodoxy.

Quite simply Iain you show no compassion for the unemployed - particularly during the Thatcher years and the recession in 1992. Guess what both occurred under a Conservative government.
Your small state, low tax government done nothing then to stimulate demand and led to prolonged recession which destroyed people's livelihood. I remember the recession in 1992 and the house market crash.

I haven't heard one single Conservative policy which would stimulate demand into the economy.
Only cuts, cuts and more cuts.

Chris Paul said...

Are you wishing this Iain? 2.38 million is not good. Why would any reasonable person talk up the idea of 3 million?

Iain Dale said...

A typically crass comment from you, Chris. Rather than insulting me, perhaps you should consider why unemployment is rising and the role of your party in that.